Effective in 2013 the FMCSA issued a change in HOS regulations to establish driving limits and required periods of rest for drivers of commercial vehicles.
The new HOS regulations have required compliance with a revised 34-hour restart rule which resets the weekly driving limit. Drivers are required to be off-duty for a consecutive 34-hour period which includes two 1:00AM – 5:00AM periods.
Since the implementation of the new rule in 2013, concerns have been raised regarding its unintended consequences such as increased traffic congestion during daytime travel.
Congress has suspended the FMCSA’s enforcement of the 34-hour restart rule in the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015. During the suspension, the Agency will conduct a study over the impact the rule has on driver health, operational safety, and fatigue.
This act will also require the FMCSA to submit a report on the 34-hour restart study to the Office of Inspector General. Within 60 days of the report’s submission, the DOT will report to the Secretary, the House, and the Senate Appropriations Committees regarding the study’s compliance with the act.
The audit’s objective is to determine wether or not the FMCSA’s design and implementation of the 34-hour restart is within compliance with the act’s requirements.